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Leandro Bassano (1557-1622)

Portrait of Tiziano Aspetti holding a Statuette c.1592-3

Oil on canvas | 88.0 x 67.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405988

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Although from the sitter’s elegant pose and stylish dress he could be mistaken for a collector, the presentation of a single object is more customary for a portrait of a sculptor. The model is for a statue of Hercules, undertaken for a prestigious commission in Venice. Aspetti’s direct eye contact positions us in the role of the client; presumably the sculptor was hoping to capitalise on his recent success.

Acquired by George III in 1762 as part of the collection of Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice